Isn’t it fabulous that you can channel your fascination for animals into a career? A degree program in Animal Behavior qualifies you for a wide variety of jobs. Animal behavior internships offer exciting hands-on experience. Here are five field categories, along with thrilling positions you can pursue.
With a marine science internship, you’ll learn about the impact of sea creatures on our existence. Programs focus on protecting marine life and their ecosystems and educating others on the necessity of doing so. Marine careers include the sub-specialties of ocean engineering, marine biology, social and policy science, and oceanography.
1. Disney offers diverse animal behavior internships, in aquatic research, marine biology, aquatic vet hospital, and aquaculture. Do you have SCUBA certification? If so, consider a marine mammal internship, caring for manatees and dolphins at Epcot Center. Students observe trainers, prepare food, maintain habitats, and deliver guest presentations. For all these Disney positions, you must be a junior or senior in college.
2. Do you have fun memories of visiting SeaWorld? If so, apply for its zoological internship program, offered at parks throughout the US. To be eligible, you need at least one year of college toward a degree. You must also have experience in animal care or training, be able to pass a swim test, and be willing to work outdoors in various types of weather.
3. Would you like to train dolphins? In St. Augustine, Florida, Marineland Dolphin Adventure offers this awesome opportunity. You will shadow a trainer, assisting with food prep, training, habitat maintenance, and public relations. This is a three-month unpaid position, with a 40-hour work week, open to college juniors and seniors.
4. At the Georgia Aquarium, you’ll provide direct dolphin care, preparing food, learning training techniques, monitoring behavior, maintaining tanks, and assisting during daily dolphin shows. You must be at least a college junior. This internship runs from August through December.
5. In Hawaii, Sea Life Park provides internships in vet tech services, reef and sea turtle care, and marine mammal care and training. You’ll mingle with penguins, seals, dolphins, sea turtles, reef fish, and sea lions. This is an unpaid position, and students must find their own housing and means of transportation.
In the field of horse care, opportunities exist with farms, publishers, feed distributors, pharmaceutical corporations, rehab centers, and breeding organizations.
1. Are you an avid horseback rider? At the Miner Institute in New York, a 13-week internship includes riding, training, breeding, and research on the farm’s Morgan horses. Students receive a $2,700 stipend, plus free housing and meals.
2. Kentucky Equine Research provides 3-month summer and year-long internships in equine nutrition research. You must have at least two years of college, along with basic equine experience.
3. Would you like to work with rescued horses? At Day’s End Farm Horse Rescue in Maryland, interns care for horses saved by animal control agencies, providing rehab and veterinary services. Students receive $75 per week, plus housing.
4. The Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center sponsors internships in hands-on equine care, rehabilitation, and veterinary medicine. The Center provides onsite housing.
5. Are you a fan of horse racing? In Texas, the American Quarter Horse Association offers 3-month paid internships in marketing and communications. Students design advertisements, write press releases, market products, and coordinate events.
This type of internship can involve training service or guide dogs, caring for rescues, or providing veterinary care.
1. Would you like to help abandoned dogs find loving homes? Near Seattle, Washington, PAWS offers internships in companion animal services. Students work with the shelter’s dogs, assisting with walking, training, and adoption support. In the Programs Department, students contribute to marketing and off-site events. In Foster Care, interns attend to puppies and nursing mothers and maintain the foster care database.
2. Would you like an insider’s view of how guide dogs are trained? In Yorktown Heights, New York, at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, students assist kennel staff with animal care, training, and facility cleaning. Applicants must be able to work for at least 20 hours weekly, including weekends and holidays, for a minimum of eight weeks. Interns find their own housing, and there is no stipend.
3. Would you prefer an internship close to home? With National Education for Assistance Dogs Services (NEADS), you can work with service dogs at a satellite facility in your home state. Students assist with marketing efforts, give media presentations, and represent NEADS at local events. Alternatively, you can work in West Boylston, Massachusetts, either in the kennel or early learning center.
4. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center hosts internships in dog training, behavioral science, and veterinary medicine. Students are asked to complete a project related to the Center’s mission of developing a detection dog breeding and training program.
4. Wildlife Rehabilitation
This field of animal behavior is dedicated to the care and treatment of animals who are ill, injured, or orphaned, with the aim of returning them to their natural habitats. Animals too impaired for release either continue receiving care in a rescue center, join educational exhibits, or serve as surrogate parents to injured or orphaned young.
1. In Illinois, the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association sponsors internships at Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital. Students assist with general orphan care, emergency services, exams, feeding, releases, fundraising, and reception. The work week is 60 hours, and students receive a $700 stipend, plus free housing and utilities.
2. Herald spring with an internship at Bay Beach Wildlife Rehabilitation in Wisconsin. The program begins in May, lasting 14 weeks. In exchange for animal care, students receive $2,240. You must be a college junior or senior to be eligible.
3. In Washington State, at the PAWS sanctuary, interns assist with handling animals, tube-feeding, giving medication, and preparing food. The work week is 40 hours, with positions lasting at least three months.
4. You don’t need college or previous experience for an internship with Northwest Wildlife Rehabilitation in Washington. Interns aid staff with all aspects of animal care, rehab, and release. Positions last eight to 12 weeks. Internships are unpaid, but the facility provides onsite housing and laundry services.
5. Would you like to live on an air-conditioned houseboat while interning? If so, apply to Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in Florida. The facility cares for native wildlife and specializes in brown pelicans. This is an unpaid internship, one semester long, with a meal stipend.
1. Indiana University’s summer research internship is a 10-week program, focusing on cognitive, neurological, and molecular science. Students participate in fieldwork, behavioral analysis, laboratory study, and presentations. Interns receive a $4,500 stipend, private dorm room, meals, and paid travel expenses.
2. Are you a fan of theme parks? If so, consider applying to the Professional Internship Program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida. Students design studies, observe animals, compile data, and engage with park visitors. You must be a college junior or senior, work in an animal-related job, and have animal behavior research experience.
3. Would you like to study the humpback whale? In Massachusetts, the Whale Center of New England offers this opportunity, with research internships in marine biology and behavior. The unpaid positions run for 10 to 12 weeks, offered in the spring, summer, and fall. Students conduct population studies, take identification photos, collect and transcribe data, and present independent research projects. To be eligible, you must have one year of college.
4. With the Hawaii Ocean Project, you can either focus on humpback whales or sea turtles. Students use underwater video equipment, take identification photos, and collect and analyze data. Positions last four months, with at least three workdays per week. Diving experience is preferred. Although positions are unpaid, college credit is possible.
Upgrade Your Resume
Animal behavior internships are available in the specialties of marine, equine, canine, wildlife rehab, and animal research. An internship gives you a taste of what a particular job and field will entail. It can affirm your career direction and lead to a permanent job with the hosting employer.
Any of the above positions will shine on your resume! An internship gives you the applicant’s edge.